By on December 18, 2017

2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Group - Image: Mercedes-Benz

GMC has its Denali sub-brand, and Buick now has its Avenir, but German premium marques aren’t in need of added luxury. Extra horsepower and speed earns that inflated sticker price.

Mercedes-Benz’s AMG sub-brand isn’t the small stable of tuned performance cars it once was. The automaker’s made it painfully clear it wants to AMG all the things, with the brand’s large crop of SUVs (and SUV “coupes”) serving as the latest canvas for AMG’s brushstrokes. A lineup that began the current year with 34 models will likely celebrate New Year’s Eve with 42.

The folks at Mercedes-Benz USA are already reaping the reward.

That’s because, while U.S. buyers aren’t poised to buy more Mercedes-Benz models than they did last year (barring a boffo December), they’re definitely likely to pick up more Mercedes-AMG models.

Through the end of November, Mercedes-Benz sold 332,043 luxury vehicles in the United States, some 30,116 of which carried the AMG badge, Automotive News reports. Some quick math tells us AMG’s share amounts to 9.97 percent of the company’s U.S. volume. Let’s round that up to an even 10 percent.

AMG’s growth over the past few years is nothing short of impressive. In 2015, AMG sales made up 5 percent of Mercedes-Benz USA’s volume. Last year, its share rose to 6.8 percent. Like Denali and Avenir, the goal with AMG — besides added prestige and good PR — is the sale of more higher-margin vehicles to keep the company’s accountants happy. That’s a solid game plan in a contracting market.

Year-to-date, Mercedes-Benz sales have dropped 2 percent.

Mercedes-AMG head Tobias Moers credits a broad lineup of lower-end 43 series models for the sub-brand’s American success. He added, however, that mid-pack “63” models have also seen a sales increase.

There’s big changes in store for 2018, as Mercedes-AMG is expected to release its 53 series — a departure for the sub-brand, in that the new crop utilizes electrification for added performance and fuel economy. AMG 53 models adopt a new 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six married to a 48-volt mild hybrid system. It’s part of a long-term plan to gradually make the sub-brand “more and more electric,” something promised by Daimler R&D head Ola Källenius earlier this year.

[Image: Daimler AG]

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11 Comments on “Americans Aren’t Buying More Mercedes-Benz Vehicles, but Mercedes-AMG? That’s Another Story...”

  • avatar

    Wow this is just….weird,they spend huge amount of money for that just AMG badge…wow

  • avatar

    There are two sweet looking AMG-GTs in my building garage.

    But in truth, AMG is creating more models, and lower priced entries from what I remember. AMG was once pretty exclusive to just a few models, now AMG is slapping their label all over the place, similar to BMW M. If it’s a standard model with an AMG aero kit, how does Mercedes classify that sale?

    • 0 avatar

      Amazing, in Deustschland badge-delete is a no cost option. Here we are willing to pay more for more badging. Maybe they should put a lit AMG badge up front and charge $$$ for it.

      • 0 avatar

        Badge delete is a no cost option to avoid pissing matches amongst coworkers.

        Doesn’t work too well when you can just look at the exhaust pipes.

      • 0 avatar

        BMW did it first… you could M-Sport a E30 318 I believe with its amazing 115hp SOHC 1.8 four.

        I think everyone, even the middle class, wants a taste of the ///M or the AMG etc. and not have to spend six figures and many multiples of fuel and insurance.

        So why not an A-class sedan with AMG ‘enhancements’… at maybe a few thousand over the low low cost of $29,990…

  • avatar

    This seems to be reflected in CPO prices. I just checked and a 2016 E350 can be had for as little as $31K with less than 30K miles. Was this always the case?

    • 0 avatar

      “Was this always the case?”

      Can’t say for sure but I believe so. Just about all of the luxury, aka premium) marques experience significant depreciation. Take a look at all of the cars across the range.

  • avatar

    The only way to get a V6 or a V8 on many of the models right now is the get an “AMG”.

  • avatar

    Where’s my Sprinter or Metris AMG?!

  • avatar

    The AMG branding is more than just a badge or label. Typically it includes nicer wheels, more aggressive body molding, better brakes, and stiffer suspension. So, yes, you are paying more for a trim line, but there is more value to it than just the label. It’s like getting a Park Avenue Ultra with the FE3 suspension (I’m making these up)

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